Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Cross/Bite

                                                 I was born into this world sideways.
                                 Doctor said,
                                                 surgery, to break my face
                           set it right again
                                                 as if breaking were simple.
      Wet places my lips have been:
                                                 all the boys I've kissed—
             so many caves I've licked
                                                 saliva & sweat
            holy water on my tongue.
                                                 I grind my teeth at night
wake to white sand in my mouth:
                                                 nocturnal silt, gritty loam.
              My jaws pop when I talk
                                                 but if I had the surgery, went cosmetic?
Oh, the typewriter in my bones—
                                                  yes, I would miss that click/clack the most.

Credit


From I Can’t Talk About the Trees Without the Blood. Copyright © 2018 by Tiana Clark. Used with the permission of University of Pittsburgh Press.

Author


Tiana Clark

Tiana Clark is the author of I Can't Talk About the Trees Without the Blood (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2018).

Date Published: 2018-09-30

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/crossbite